Congo, H-Shaped Katanga Crosses


Congo, H-Shaped Katanga Crosses (obverse) Congo, H-Shaped Katanga Crosses (reverse)

In Katanga, todays province of Shaba in the Democratic Republic of Congo, copper ore has been exploited ever since. Over centuries the copper was cast into ingots, often in the shape of crosses. In this form it was traded over wide parts of Africa. Even though no standardization of weight can be established, the crosses were extensively used as means of payment. Whether this is also true for these small crosses is unclear, however. They might have been used as small change, or as funerary objects and for sacrifices.


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